Change of scenery from press box to pitchside

Teesside University journalism alumni has taken the reins at Pools Youth FC.

COACH: Matthew Grocott watches over a training session

COACH: Matthew Grocott watches over a training session

Matthew Grocott, 21,  was asked if he would become coach of the under 14s alongside manager, Grant Horsley.

And the Poolie fan – who produced a blog about the club while on his course – jumped at the chance to become a coach for the first time.

Matthew, from Lingdale Drive, Seaton Carew, said: “It was an opportunity offered because one of the teams folded. Grant asked me to help him and obviously, I was over the moon.

“I’ve always loved Hartlepool United and my aim is to help some of these guys make that step up to play professionally.

“We’ve got some excellent players, one of which has scored the most goals out of all the age divisions in the PYFC setup, it’s very exciting to see where this team can go.”

The Hartlepool youth team are gaining some valuable skills, with Matthew having played for highly successful local team, Throston Hotspur.

But he says coaching children’s football, is harder because there isn’t much information out there on the teams and the players they will face.

“I always refer back to what I was told, when you learn from a manager it’s a lot easier to be one when you put yourself in his shoes,” he said.

“All you’ve got to look at is a league position, we beat a team in a friendly 3-1, but first game of the season we got beat 2-1 by them.”

“We started off wondering why we had lost that first game, but since then we’ve just kept on going up.”

Despite a loss for their first division game, Hartlepool youth have went on quite a run in the league and cup.

Matthew hopes that his team will be champions of the league for this season, so that they can be promoted into the next league having started from the bottom.

The team are one step off the quarter finals, having beaten a division three team 3-1 away from home.

“With us just starting up as a team, we had to start in the lowest division out of five,” he added.

“We went into the game expecting to get beat, we were 1-0 down at half time, but managed to inspire a comeback.

“There are a few teams I’m hoping we might come up against in the next few rounds, including Greatham B FC. There’s some healthy rivalry brewing between us.”


from Tside